Peterson hits two long balls as Parkers Prairie handles Brandon-Evansville in five innings, 6A field loaded once again

Brock Peterson did it all on Monday night. He hit two home runs and earned the win on the mound in Parkers Prairie's 14-4 win over Brandon-Evansville. Head coaches Derek Denny and Brian Perleberg looked ahead to what should be a battle-tested Section 6A playoff field.

Parkers Prairie waves its hats to the Brandon-Evansville players after the Panthers beat the Chargers 14-4 in five innings on May 24, 2021. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)

Parkers Prairie's Brock Peterson did it all on Monday night in the Panthers' 14-4, five-inning win over Brandon-Evansville.

Not only did Peterson earn a win on the mound, but he also belted home runs in the first and third innings for the Panthers. His all-around performance turned heads in both dugouts.

"Brock is a good pitcher for them," B-E head coach Brian Perleberg said. "He did a good job of changing his speeds. He's a little wild, but he found ways to get out of jams today, and he trusted his defense behind him."

The Panthers (8-10) put up 13 runs in the first three innings. Brendan Johnson, Dylan Debilzan, Cole Gessell, David Revering and Peterson each had multi-hit games.

"I think getting some runs right away gave them confidence early on," Parkers Prairie head coach Derek Denny said. "We haven't had a practice since last Wednesday. We've been playing games every day. But each game, we're seeing guys grow in their roles and understand what they need to do to have a successful at-bat."


Chase Thieschaefer catches a pop fly in front of the pitcher's mound in Parkers Prairie's 14-4 win over Brandon -Evansville in five innings on May 24, 2021. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)

Despite falling in five innings, the Chargers (12-6) pulled positives from a loss to a team that had everything working on Monday night.

"Our pitchers threw strikes," Perleberg said. "To my knowledge, we only had two errors in the game. You have to tip your hat to Parkers. They put the ball in play. Some days things just don't go your way."

Beating a winning team like the Chargers is a positive step for B-E heading into the playoffs.

"They're a good program, and Brian is a good coach," Denny said. "He's got his guys doing a lot of the right things. Sometimes days like this happen. We had a good day, and sometimes good teams don't have good days."

Xavier Grussing leads off second base after hitting a double in the top of the fifth inning on May 25, 2021. Brandon-Evansville lost to Parkers Prairie 14-4 in five innings. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)


Deep postseason runs from Parkers Prairie teams are all too familiar for Denny, and he's looking for more magic this time around.

"I think it's the warmer weather," Denny said laughing. "Whatever it is, they don't play well in the cold. That's been these guys early on when I first started coaching. If you look at our schedule this year, we had tough competition right away with (New York Mills) and (Wadena-Deer Creek). Now, we're playing a little bit better, and we're kind of catching up a little bit."

The Panthers have been able to put bad regular-season starts behind them to play championship-level baseball in recent years. Since the 2016 season, Parkers Prairie has made three trips to state, including a Class A championship win in 2017. The mentality it takes to survive and advance has been passed down from former section and state champions.

David Revering throws the ball from third base in the top of the fifth inning during Parkers Prairie's 14-4 win over Brandon-Evansville on May 24, 2021. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)

"I think we're starting to see that now," Denny said. "We have these guys that come back to town, and they're good friends with these players. They play a ton of baseball together in the summer. I just think it's a good group that has won, and they're not afraid to share baseball knowledge, and these kids aren't afraid to accept it."

It's no secret how tough Section 6A is this year. With eight teams having a section record of .500 or better, the last team standing will be battle-tested heading into the state tournament.

"I joked with somebody the other day, but in a way, I was serious in saying that whoever comes out of this section might have some easier games when they get to state," Perleberg said. "The last time I checked, there were four top-10 teams in this section, and you're going to have to beat at least two of them to do it. Then you have the teams like Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa and Border West, who are playing well right now. It's going to be a fun tournament to watch for fans, but I don't know how fun that is for coaches."


Denny echoed Perleberg's thoughts on how challenging it is to win this section and how well 6A teams fare at state.

Carter White (right) gives a fist bump to the first base coach after grounding out to third base in Brandon-Evansville's 14-4 loss to Parkers Prairie on May 24, 2021. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)

"We've said that Section 6A is one of the tougher baseball sections, and it's stacking up to be true again this year," Denny said. "There's been some really good teams that have won this section in the past. If you look at how they've done in the state tournament, they've represented very well. I don't see it being any different his year, and it's going to be even tougher with the additions coming in."



PARKERS PRAIRIE HITTING- Brendan Johnson 2-4, 2R; Dylan Debilzan 2-3, SB, 3R; Florian Koep 1-3, R; Wyatt Murray 1-2, BB; Brock Peterson 3-3, 2HR, 2R; Cole Gessell 3-3, SB, 2R; Jake Wagner 1-2, SB; Chase Thieschaefer 0-1; David Revering 2-2, BB, R; Riley Thoennes 0-3

BRANDON-EVANSVILLE HITTING- Brady Perleberg 0-2, R, BB; Kyle Schaffrann 1-2, BB, R; Tyler Bitzan 2-3, 2R; Dezmond White 1-2 BB; Hunter Koep 0-1, BB; Jayden Hoidahl 0-1; Titus Fuller 0-1, 2BB; Xavier Grussing 2-2, BB; Lucas Perleberg 0-3; Riley Perleberg 1-2

Jared Rubado is the sports editor for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and the Perham Focus. He moved to the area in September of 2021 after covering sports for the Alexandria Echo Press for nearly three years. Jared graduated from the University of Augustana in 2018 with degrees in journalism and sports managment.
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